From the Farmer
First, I wanted to remind people that Labor Day weekend is comng up AND that there aren’t pickups at the farm that day. Please let us know what other pickup day would work for you, for just that week. Thanks!
Last week I briefly touched on freezing produce as a form of food preservation. Have any of you given this a try yet? Having corn this winter, right out of our fields and into your freezer, will make an amazing corn chowder!
This week I would like to address another method of food preservation: Drying.
This is one of the most straight-forward methods of food preservation. You can either purchase a food dehydrator at a local store, or for many items, use your oven. Either way, it is simple to set up, prep and dry foods for organic, dried snacks. Fresh berries, slices of fruit, tomatoes and other produce do well with this method.
You can also hang-to-dry a number of the herbs we offer here at the farm. Once the items are dry, you can store them in containers, bags, etc.
One of the the popular things to do with fruits is to make fruit leathers. I have made leathers using all kinds of fruits, and I find that the ripest fruits work best. There are a number of good resources online for making fruit leathers; I have included one below, using melon.
Cantaloupe Fruit Leather
Peel and chop a melon. Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. Mash up the fruit and taste to determine if any sugar, lemon juice, or spices are needed. Continue to simmer and stir until the fruit purée has thickened, another 10 minutes. Blend the puree thoroughly in a blender or food processor. Taste again and adjust sugar/lemon/spices if necessary. Line a rimmed baking sheet with sturdy plastic wrap. Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Heat the oven to a low 140°F. Allow puree to dry overnight, about 8-12 hours. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface. To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Next week, we will take a look at canning, one of the most popular ways to preserve food. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a nice holiday weekend.
See you at the farm,
So you’re hooked on that fresh local, tasty, organically produced vegetables all summer long. Why not join our WINTER CSA?
The winter share is a very generous share and will keep you out of the produce section of your grocery store all winter long. You should expect to receive approximately 35lbs. of produce every other week.
Pick your own greens are popular part of the share. They include spinach, arugula, broccoli rabe, Asian greens, escarole, bok choy and napa cabbage. Many of the items you will receive are already in the ground, growing quite happily. Items like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onion and potatoes will grow all season before being harvested and brought into our cold storage. Others will be finding their spots in the fields during the summer or staying as seedlings in the greenhouse until the middle of October.
Using row covers, a rolling greenhouse and our cold storage, we are able to offer a wide variety of produce throughout most of the winter. The full list of items includes: Acorn squash, Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Spouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Herbs, Japanese Turnips, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce Mix, Mixed Asian Greens, Parsnips, Potatoes, Onions, Radishes, Rutabaga, Sweet Potatoes,Swiss Chard, Spinach,Turnips and Watermelon Radishes.
Winter pick-ups are at the farm every other Saturday morning from, 10 AM – 1 PM for the months of November and December. If you can’t make it every Saturday we set up a distribution area in one of our cold storage units so that you can pick up the following Sunday or Monday. The cost is just $285 and includes u-pick greens.
The Logistics for Deep Winter
Our Deep Winter share is held every other week starting in early January through mid March. The Deep Winter Share is a self-service share and you are able to pick up on Saturday, Sunday,Monday or Tuesday of the pick-up week. Most shares include 25 lbs of organic produce plus, u-pick greens from the greenhouse. The cost of this share is $250.
The cost if you sign-up for both Winter and Deep Winter(Combo Share) it’s just $495. Head over to the website to sign up now for great produce all winter long!
11th Annual U-Pick Tomato Event
Thank you to everyone who turned out for the 11th annual u-pick tomato event. A lot of shareholders were there, as well as many of the local people who come year after year for this event. Close to 4000 pounds of tomatoes were picked on that first day! Tomato u-pick is now going on everyday, from 9 am to 6 pm, until there are no more. (This is usually right around the time of the first frost.) So if you weren’t able to come out before, you still have time.
Let us know what you are doing with all of the tomatoes you picked! We would love to see your pictures and take a look at the recipes. Here are a few we have seen on our Facebook page.
Simone Park’s Sun Dried Tomatoes – Before & After